Monday, December 17, 2012

Classic Cheese Lasagne (Martha Stewart)

"Noodles, marinara, noodles, ricotta mixture, Parmesan..." Despite that I kept telling myself this while layering the lasagne, I was still confused! Mine was eventually "noodles, marinara, ricotta mixture, Parmesan, noodles, marinara..." Silly me! In regardless, it was really fun baking this dish because this is my first time making fresh lasagne noodles.

Without addition of meat, this vegetarian lasagne is actually not rich at all and perfect for us to eat. Funny that my meat-eating husband and son didn't realise that this at all. Seriously, there was no complains at all! After we finished our dinner and cleaning up our plates, my husband suddenly had a surprised look at me and said "I don't remember that I ate any meat just now..." LOL!

This lasagne doesn't need any meat. All it need is lots of cheese and love. *smile*

classic cheese lasagne Martha Stewart
A very nice vegetarian lasagne
Making the Marinara
homemade pasta lasagne sheets
Making the fresh lasagne noodles. Didn't have a pasta drying rack, used a cooling rack instead.
Layering the lasagne
Although I was a little confused with my layering order, the lasagne still look good!

Here's the recipe from Martha Stewart
(with my modification and notes in blue)

Classic Cheese Lasagne

1 pound whole-milk ricotta cheese 
(I used the light one which has 4.7g fat per 100g)
1 large egg (I actually forgot to add this!)
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I didn't add this)
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound fresh mozzarella
Fresh Lasagna Noodles, cut into 4-by-13-inch strips and cooked, or store-bought dried noodles, cooked
5 ounces coarsely grated Parmesan cheese, (about 1 3/4 cups) (plus extra to top)

Preheat oven to 375°F (or 150°C fan forced). Combine ricotta, egg, nutmeg (I didn't add egg and nutmeg), and salt in a medium bowl. Season with pepper. Coarsely grate 1/2 of the mozzarella, and stir into ricotta mixture. Using your fingers, shred remaining mozzarella into 2-inch strips, and reserve.

Spread 1/2 cup marinara in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place a layer of noodles over marinara. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over noodles, and sprinkle with 1/3 of the Parmesan. Place a layer of noodles over the cheese layer.

Spread 1 cup marinara over noodles. Repeat layering (noodles, marinara, noodles, ricotta mixture, Parmesan) 2 more times. (Mine was noodles, marinara, ricotta mixture, Parmesan, noodles, marinara x 2) Spread remaining marinara over cheese layer, then sprinkle with shredded mozzarella (plus extra Parmesan).

Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until cheese is golden brown and sauce is bubbling, 45 to 50 min. Let stand for 15 min before slicing and serving.


2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled plum tomatoes, undrained
(my can tomatoes are finely chopped and do not require any processing)
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped (2 tbsp)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Pulse tomatoes and juices in a food processor until coarsely chopped (I didn't do this).

Heat garlic and oil in a 5-quart pot over medium heat until garlic begins to sizzle, about 2 min. Add tomato puree, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 30 min. Let cool slightly. Sauce can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days.

Fresh Lasagna Noodles

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and dusting
3 large eggs
Coarse salt

Mound flour on a work surface, and make a well in the center. Beat eggs and a pinch of salt in a small bowl, then pour eggs into well. Using a fork, slowly add flour to eggs, incorporating a small amount at a time, switching to hands as dough becomes stiff.

Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky, about 10 min. Cover with plastic, and let dough rest on counter for 1 1/2 hrs.

Cut dough into 8 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time and keeping remaining pieces covered, dust dough lightly with flour, and feed through a pasta machine's widest setting (No.1).

Fold dough lengthwise into thirds, and rotate 90 degrees. Pass through machine 2 more times.
Turn dial to next-narrower setting. Pass dough through machine twice, gently supporting it with your palms. Continue to roll dough through ever-finer settings, 2 passes each, until sheet is almost translucent . If dough bubbles or tears, pass it through again, and dust with flour if it sticks. 

Immediately cut sheet into lasagna noodles: 4-inch squares for individual lasagna or 4-by-13-inch strips for a large pan. Transfer strips to a drying rack for 1 hr. (Mine is just dried for 1 hr) Repeat with remaining dough. (Noodles can be stored, when completely dry and stiff, for up to 1 week.)

Fill a large bowl with cool water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook 2 to 3 noodles at a time for 90 seconds. Using a wire-mesh skimmer, transfer noodles to cool water, and swirl a few times. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet until ready to use, placing a piece of parchment or plastic between layers. Use immediately.

Using half amount of this recipe, I have baked my lasgane in a 16 cm x 26 cm baking dish at 150°C fan forced for 45 min.

Instead of dividing the dough into 8, I've divided by my half amount into 4 and can make eight of 10 cm x 26 cm lasagna noodles.

Happy Baking
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  1. this looks fantastic and I love that it doesn't have any meat in it! so funny your husband had no idea! I've bookmarked this - the photos make it look irresistable!
    mary x

  2. That has to be the Bet lasagna ever with home pasta; I really loved your tutorial; would win at my place. Looks so Good.

  3. That looks so incredible. I love lasagne. I made a gnocchi bake for 1 last night. But I cooked it like a lasagne. Soooo good.

  4. If the kids like it, then it's worth trying!

  5. I love that you made homemade lasagne I love it. cheesy goodness is always yumm.

  6. Ohhhhh, lasagna is best when made with homemade noodles.

  7. Zoe, ha ha, yes, cheese can mask the lack of meat because its so rich and thick. Looks so delicious!

  8. Loads of cheese and love indeed ! lol No wonder why I love adding cheese in my pasta sauce :D The thought of that 2 cheeses alone makes my mouth water ! Pretty delicious lasagna , Zoe !

  9. Hi, if no pasta machine can we make our own?


    1. Hi Michelle,

      If you don't have a pasta machine, you can use a rolling pin to roll your noodles as thin as possible with constant flouring of their surfaces but I wouldn't think that I can do :p

      Otherwise, I would strongly suggest the use of store-bought dried noodles.


  10. I'm back from my vacation & it's nice to be greeted by all the food shots again. Thank God I've been stuffing myself with good food everyday while in Tokyo, else I would be real jealous.

  11. Zoe, the lasagne looks creamy and delish! Worth all the hard work :)

  12. Zoe, these look delicious!!
    Have a nice week

  13. wow, homemade lasagne noodles! Fantastic! Looks very delicious! Need to take out my dusty pasta maker and put to use!

  14. Yuummm! Love your pictures as well, fantastic!

  15. Wow it looks so delicious...droolworthy.

  16. Looks great, Zoe! Who needs meat when u can have a gorgeous looking lasagne like yours?

  17. My first Lasagna was more than 10 years ago. It was made by my French housemate, it tastes delicious with that many layering. Wow! you make the fresh Lasagna noodles, this homemade Lasagna looks fantastic!

  18. oh no, oh made my favourite lasagne, from scratch!

  19. Hungry now, and its past 11 pm sigh. Looks good Zoe! Reminds me i havent had lasagna for a long time, and i just saw Shannon's post on homemade ricotta. Think there's a message for me somwhere here lol!

  20. Noodles from scratch! Wow you are indeed a cooking star.

  21. Hey Zoe. The lasagna looks delicious! I can't believe you made the noodles from scratch. It'd be really hard to make it without a pasta machine.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. It's great to know you via blogging too. I've been browsing through your recipes and wow, you have a lot of good ones. Your Japanese Honey Castella Cake recipe looks really tempting. I have to give it try!


  22. Gosh! I'm drooling ! This is a mouth watering post with delicious pictures & the best part was it's meatless! Great for my waistline, I think!!?? LOL Seriously I was surprised when read that it's actually a meatless lasagna! Looks sooooo GOOD!!! :)

  23. this is wonderful and must be so tasty that your husband even didnt realise there wasnt any meat! so the cheese did the trick, huh? you even made your own lasagne sheets!

  24. Sometimes the classic tastes really are best... this looks divine! Perfect comfort food :)

  25. That looks really delicious, nothing beat fresh pasta but I am too lazy to drag out the machine to assemble lol!

  26. So mouthwatering!!! Its lunch time and m literally drooling all over my everything looking at this! Oh girl I missed so much being part of this action. and m so sorry for not replying to your msg on wassup. I was in another city attending a wedding and my 2 year old used to play with the phone all the time (it was the only way I managed to keep her busy, please dont judge me :D). It was days later when I realized that I got a msg from you :(. My bad.
    Anyhoo, m back and armed now (with my new iPad). Aiming to post something atleast once a week :).

    1. Hi Anuja,

      I was worried at first if I have send you the texts via a wrong number. I've realized too that you have not been updating your blog and thought that you might be away for holidays or something...

      Don't be silly... I didn't judge you at all. Just worry if there is something wrong. Nice to hear from you again :D


  27. Looks like an absolutely awesome day!

  28. Now I need to get a pasta roller, this lasagna looks interesting! And I'm sure it's really tasty that your husband didn't even realize there's no meat in there! I hope I can trick my family the next time too ;)

  29. Hi Zoe, your lasagne look awesome. Very mouthwatering and look so tempting.

    Have a nice week ahead.

  30. Wow Zoe, homemade lasagna pasta? Your cheese lasagna looks it with lots and lots of cheese...yum!
    Have a great week :)

  31. Very inpressed that you made your own pasta, Zoe :) looks delicious!

  32. Merry Christmas, Zoe!

    The lasagne looks homely and delicious!